Virtual and physical events differ in several ingredients but can still create shared value and even have some advantages compared to face-to-face.
Embracing a digital-first mindset – which doesn’t mean focusing only on the tech aspects – is essential though to design virtual events that achieve their initial purpose.
With that in mind, it's important to focus on which suitable virtual formats - whether it’s an on-demand recording, a discussion forum, a virtual workshop or more – will achieve the goals related to each phase of the participant journey.
You also need to consider how to combine different formats. This will not only have a direct effect on the way attendees feel, think, and react, but will also have a lasting impact after they've happened.
Deciding the right virtual format for your event will largely depend not only on your pain and needs. It will be specifically linked to the 'required' change you want from your target audience. What actions are you expecting from them once the event is over? Is your goal to inspire them, educate them or promote a new product?
Format selection should focus on 'participant centricity' and not be driven by technology. Two main factors will help you determine the format selection process: suitability and goals.
The question to ask yourself with each format that you consider is: will this chosen format generate the required impact and outcome at this point of the event journey?
Virtual formats can be suitable at various phases throughout the virtual event journey. A useful way to classify formats is suitability as Openers, Middles, or Closers.
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The objective of a virtual format refers to the purpose each format has to achieve for the selected phase of the event journey. Formats trigger participant behaviour positively and even negatively, if poorly chosen.
They also determine how participants think, feel, and what they do at a given moment that supports the participant transformation process. There are 7 big picture goals that these fall under. Designing an effective virtual event combines most, if not all, these elements.
Choosing the right virtual events formats that will best serve your business objectives to deliver your event requires careful consideration and strategy. Are you planning a virtual event and need help designing an enjoyable and informative experience for your audience? Contact us to talk to our experience design experts.